According to an Indian Express report, the duo first decided among themselves about misleading the investigators by saying that the accident occurred due to the rash driving of another vehicle that the bus was overtaking. But soon the owner of the bus, Shakeel Jabbar, who runs Jabbar Travels, realised that the police could seek versions of the passengers of the car that they tried to put the blame on.
He then told the driver, Feroz Mohammed to change the statement and tell the police that the accident was caused due to a tyre burst. Jabbar said this keeping in mind that the entire bus was charred and hence it would be difficult for the police to verify the statement, according to the report.
The bus owner and driver changed their statements about the reason of the fire
When asked, the passengers of the car that the bus owner tried to accuse, said the bus had overtaken them about six kilometres from where the accident took place. The two passengers in the car were the first to reach the spot and called the police and the ambulance, the investigation officer said, the report said. The duo also waited till the police arrived on the spot and gave them their statements.
They said the fire was spreading so fast that they could not help those who got trapped inside the bus and screaming for help, the report added.
Eyewitnesses said the fire broke out from the front portion of the bus and not from the rear where the fuel tank is located. Initial reports said the fire broke out after the bus hit a culvert because it tried to avoid a rash-driving vehicle and its fuel tank exploded.
Both Jabbar and Mohammed have been arrested.